CC089 Soviet BMD-1 Poster
A friend spent a year in Tblisi in 1990, and brought back some Soviet-era military posters when he returned.
A Bulgarian friend of mine with good Russian language skills indicates that this is a special variant designed to be airdropped with paratroops. Thanks to NormundsT for pointing out that this is a BMD-1, not BMP.
The BMD-1 can be thought of as a BMP intended for airborne troops. The vehicle therefore must be lighter and smaller in order to meet airdrop weight requirements (the BMD-1 is secured to a pallet and parachute-dropped from cargo planes).
BMD-1 has an unconventional layout for an IFV. From front to back of the vehicle the compartments are located in a following formation: steering, fighting, troop and engine. This is because the BMD-1 is based on Ob'yekt 914 which in turn is based on the PT-76 amphibious light tank. This meant that transported troops had to mount and dismount the vehicle via the roof hatches which made them an easy target on the battlefield when these actions were performed.
The vehicle is armed with the 73 mm 2A28 Grom gun and 7.62 mm PKT coaxial tank machine gun. Mounted on the mantlet is the 9S428 ATGM launcher capable of firing 9M14 Malyutka (NATO: AT-3A Sagger A) and 9M14M Malyutka-M (NATO: AT-3B Sagger B) ATGMs (for which the vehicle carries 2 ATGMs in the turret). There are also two 7.62 mm PKT machine guns in fixed mounts, one each in the corners of the bow.
BMD-1 entered serial production in 1968. It was produced by Volgograd Tractor Plant. Two airborne regiments of each airborne division were equipped with BMD-1 IFVs. Overall each division operated 220 BMD-1 IFVs. It was observed by the West for the first time during Dvina exercise in the USSR in 1970. The West saw it for the second time during Moscow Red Square parade in November 1973. The West originally thought that the BMD-1 was a light tank before its true nature was known. Because of its small crew, the introduction of the BMD led to a reduction in the number of soldiers in an airborne battalion, from 610 to 316 men. The firepower of the BMD also meant that some of the battalion's integral fire support could be done away with. In 1973 the BMD-1 completely replaced the ASU-57 airborne assault guns in the Soviet airborne forces, increasing the firepower and maneuverability of the airborne division. Since 1977 a number of Soviet BMD-1 IFVs underwent a modernization to BMD-1P standard.